Nashville is the magical Tennessee town where musicians and songwriters from all over the world flock to hone their craft, ply their trade and make their dreams come true. Country-western music runs through Nashville’s veins. Many of the world’s most talented artists call this relatively small city home, and the standard of musical creativity is second to none. Many of the greatest, most memorable and most successful pop songs of all time have been written and recorded in the city’s hallowed studios — often only after having been tested out live (and rough) in a few of the city’s music venues. The lucky music fans in Nashville get to hear mega-hits in their embryonic state before the studio gloss is applied and the charts are stored. You never know when you are listening to the next big music megastar when you attend an open mike or writer’s night in this talent-packed music mecca.

Nashville is crammed with excellent live music venues, and top-notch, elite-level country-western is the order of the day at most of these holy cathedrals of live music. Here is our list of five of Nashville’s hottest country-western venues.

Robert’s Western World is a Local Favorite on Broadway In the heart of downtown Nashville, Robert’s Western World is a real spit-and-sawdust country music bar. Every night of the week. local bands and artists perform inspired sets of the finest country and honky-tonk you’re ever likely to hear. The sound quality has been honed and perfected over the tens of thousands of live gigs that have taken place in this famous venue. There is a good crowd every night of the week, but on weekends the place really heats up with a raucous atmosphere and two busy bars that keep everyone well-lubricated. The food is tasty Southern fare, and the beer is always ice-cold. Robert’s Western World is a classic Nashville country-western bar that guarantees one hell of a good time!

Address: 416 Broadway B, Nashville, TN 37203

Bobby’s Idle Hour Tavern Keeps Live Music Alive on Music Row The original Idle Hour had a fight with a wrecking ball (and unsurprisingly lost) in 2005, but, like a phoenix from the flames, Bobby’s rose again in a new space smack dab on Music Row. This dive (and we mean that in the nicest possible way) is a meeting point for crazy characters from the Nashville music scene. It has entertainment every night of the week, not only country-western shows, songwriter nights, and jams but also regular comedy sessions. The writer’s nights are famous for the depth of talent on state, and it’s always possible that you will hear the next international mega-hit being bashed out in a raw, incomplete and thrillingly unfinished form.

Address: 1028 16th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212

The 5 Spot is East Nashville’s Hottest Dance Bar This place is sweaty and loud, but luckily, the beer is frosty and the clientele is exactly the type of interesting folk you would want to be crammed into a sweaty dance bar with. Featured on the hit ABC TV show Nashville, this venue is friendly and plain-talkin’. What you see is what you get. There is live music most nights of the week, but the bar is most famous for its Monday night dance party where the good, the bad and the ugly of Nashville get down and dirty on the dance floor and boogie late into the night. Ever seen a cowboy dancing to Motown?? Well, here’s a place you will!

Address: 1006 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206

The Bluebird Cafe is the Historic Country Music Venue Where Garth Brooks’ Massive Hit “The Dance” was First Performed This place is a serious music venue. Every night of the week, The Bluebird Cafe plays host to a mixture of established acts and up-and-coming artists. This relaxed venue lets the music do the talking. Many country-western artists who went on to achieve superstar status, including Vince Gill and Kathy Mattea, cut their teeth on the Bluebird’s hallowed and intimate stage. The open mike and writer’s nights that take place several nights a week attract some wonderful new artists, and many big-time industry scouts attend the Bluebird looking for new talent.

Address: 4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215

Layla’s Bluegrass Inn is a Real Musician’s Favorite This stylish venue on Broadway has top-quality country-western every night of the week. The stage is set in the front window, and the drummer’s back is up against the glass, so it sure ain’t hard to find! This place is a very popular haunt with local musicians and music fans alike.

Address: 418 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

So that is our list of five of the hottest country-western venues in Nashville. Whether you are marveling at the honied tones of a new and undiscovered gem artist in the hear-a-pin-drop silence of The Bluebird Cafe’s writer’s night or getting down and dirty on the dance floor at The 5 Spot, don’t forget to share your Nashville country-western experiences on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!